Summary: This column outlines how the Office of Special Counsel – the federal agency charged with protecting whistleblowers and investigating their disclosures – has been more effective in accomplishing its mission since Carolyn Lerner was sworn in as head of the agency in June. GAP praised the selection of Lerner at the time of her confirmation.
Lerner also recently appeared on a panel at GAP's Washington Whistleblower Assembly last month discussing the direction of the agency.
The article mentions how the OSC was recently granted a 45-day stay request to stop the indefinite suspension without pay of MRAP whistleblower (and GAP client) Franz Gayl in order to investigate the matter more fully.
Key Quote: "[Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner’s] tenure is very young, but she hit the ground running and appears to be fearless,” said Thomas Devine, legal director of the Government Accountability Project, a whistleblower advocacy group.
Summary: National Security Agency whistleblower and GAP client Thomas Drake talked to the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, detailing the role of the NSA with regard to Internet monitoring.
Related Article: The Register (UK)
Summary: GAP coalition partner Center for Science in the Public Interest filed a lawsuit against General Mills for portraying its fruit snacks – including Fruit Roll-Ups and Fruit by the Foot – as a healthy option for kids. GAP's Food Integrity Campaign details the complaint while pointing out that an industry insider admits fruit snacks are not much different from candy.
Summary: A volunteer firefighter in Moscow, Idaho has filed suit, claiming that the city passed up applications for a paid position in favor of the “unqualified son of a department administrator.” The suit also alleges retaliation against the whistleblower.
Summary: A former hospice executive is alleging that he was fired for warning the board of directors that the hospice could owe millions of dollars for overbilling Medicare.
Summary: The CEO at Wal-Mart China has resigned, shortly after the company was fined $421,000 for mislabeling conventional pork as organic – causing 13 stores in southwestern China to close temporarily. GAP's Food Integrity Campaign illustrates the importance of whistleblowers in unveiling labeling fraud.
Hannah Johnson is Communications Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.